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Dallas Stars 3, Vancouver Canucks 2 FINAL @NHLdotcom

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- The Dallas Stars are glad Marty Turco has a high threshold for pain.

Turco started for the 21st straight game despite a sore left foot and made 10 of his 25 saves in the third period, lifting the Stars to a 3-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Monday night.

"It was touch and go, I didn't know if I was going to play tonight," Turco said after limping through the locker room with a bag of ice on his left foot, the result of an errant shot at practice Sunday. "Just a bruise -- a sore one, though."

Pierre Turgeon, Bill Guerin and David Oliver scored for the Stars, who moved into eighth place in the Western Conference, one point ahead of idle Los Angeles.

"We have high expectations here despite where we are in the standings," said Turco, who was at his best in the final period as Dallas improved to 6-1-2 in its last nine road games. "Every game we win and continue to play well, that's just going to add to our confidence. It's pretty obvious we're playing well."

Especially when the game-winner comes from Oliver, whose last NHL goal came more than four years ago. Unfortunately, he didn't get a chance to talk about it.

After putting the Stars ahead 3-1 with a power-play goal midway through the second period, Oliver was hit in the throat during the ensuing celebration and had to leave the game.

"He came into the dressing room and was having trouble breathing so they took him to the hospital," Stars coach Dave Tippett said. "It's a throat injury of some sort -- they didn't think it was real serious."

The Canucks lost a third straight regular-season game for the first time since early March 2002.

Trevor Linden and Brendan Morrison ended lengthy goal droughts, but it wasn't enough to keep Vancouver from falling out of the top spot in the Northwest Division for the first time since October, two points behind Colorado.

Dan Cloutier made 17 saves for the Canucks, who are also winless in seven games at home (0-5-2), where they haven't won in regulation since Nov. 8.

"We're not playing our best hockey, it's as simple as that," captain Markus Naslund said. "We have to simplify, we have to put on our work boots and go out and work hard and good things will happen."

After a slow start, Dallas has points in 15 of the last 19 games.

"It's finally starting to settle into our brains, that's how we have to play," said captain Mike Modano, who had an assist in his second game back after missing six with a groin injury. "We've really had to fight for everything we've got lately, nothing's come easy all season long."

Modano hit a post 40 seconds into the game, and Turgeon opened the scoring less than four minutes later, tipping Richard Matvichuk's high point shot under Cloutier as he jumped up for the initial shot.

Linden tied it at 14:24 with his first goal in 18 games after a brilliant play by Sami Salo. The Finnish defenseman faked out countryman Jere Lehtinen at the point and drew two more Stars before dishing over to Linden in the right circle for a quick shot under Turco.

Guerin restored the Stars' lead with 2:29 left in the first, finding a soft spot in the Canucks' coverage in the high slot and one-timing Brenden Morrow's pass from behind the net past Cloutier on the far side.

Oliver and Morrison, with his first in 13 games, traded power-play goals in the second period as both teams finished 1-for-3 on the power play to end long slides with the man advantage.

Oliver's goal was just the Stars' second in 29 power-play chances over nine games.

"They've been working hard and getting chances, so it's finally nice to see something go in," Turco said. "It was huge for us in terms of momentum."

Morrison's goal ended a similar 2-for-30 skid with the man advantage for Vancouver. But the Canucks couldn't take advantage of the only power play of the third period.

They managed just one shot on Turco, who later preserved the win with strong saves on Brent Sopel and Daniel Sedin's one-timer from the slot.

"It's just consistently we're not working hard enough in the smaller areas of the game and that's critical," Linden said."

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